It’s very easy to make this soft cheese; and it can be used in so many ways - it’s the one homemade cheese that I think anyone with dairy animals should know how to make. It can be used in any recipe that uses cream, farmer, or other soft cheese; and it freezes well so you can make cheese when milk is plentiful and preserve it for use when there’s no milk. It can be made with milk from your own dairy animals (if you use goat milk then it’s soft chevre cheese) or with whole cow milk from the store.
To make this cheese, you do need to obtain DVI (Direct [...]
Continue reading Making “French-Style” Cream Cheese
The peppers (red, yellow, and jalapeno) are all ripening in the garden now; so I’ve been making hot pepper jelly again (click here for the recipe). It’s great to have around for gifts and this quick appetizer - the appetizer is so easy it barely qualifies as a recipe. But, it’s always a hit wherever and whenever it’s served:
1 package (8 ounces) Philadelphia Cream Cheese (softened)
1/2 jar (4 ounces) hot pepper jelly*
Place a serving dish big enough to hold the cream cheese on another larger serving dish. Place the softened cream cheese in the center dish, stir the hot pepper jelly in the jar [...]
Continue reading Cream Cheese & Hot Pepper Jelly Appetizer
I’ve read that you need a cream separator and butter churn to make goat milk butter, but we’ve come up with a method that doesn’t require either of these pieces of equipment. Instead, we manually separate the cream from the goat milk and use a KitchenAid mixer to churn the butter.
It takes a few days, but the cream in the goat milk does separate and rise to the top of the jars we use for storing the milk; so we just spoon the cream off and add it to a freezer container of accumulating cream. We store the cream in the freezer to keep [...]
Continue reading Making Goat Milk Butter (with a KitchenAid mixer)
This is another dish that we made over the holidays; and it was so yummy that there were several requests that it be posted to Better Hens and Gardens - so here it is. The fennel and Gruyère cheese really elevate au gratin potatoes to a special dish. It’s can go from the oven to the table, or can be cooked ahead and reheated at 350°F for 30 minutes – making it a truly versatile dish too. It’s adapted from the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten.
2 small fennel bulbs
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 pounds baking potatoes (4 large potatoes)
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons heavy [...]
Continue reading Potato Fennel Gratin
This is wonderfully flavorful; yet it seems light, perfect for springtime. You can serve Panna Cotta with just about any sweet or fruit topping; it doesn’t need to be strawberries - but the strawberries in balsamic are terrific with it. You’ve got to try it, it doesn’t look all that sensational, but it’s delicious!
Panna Cotta is an old Italian dessert, and I think this recipe was originally from Mario Batali; however, the idea for serving it with balsamic strawberries comes from the Barefoot Contessa At Home cookbook by Ina Garten.
1 packet unflavored gelatin (2 tsps)
3 cups heavy cream
2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean
Continue reading Panna Cotta w/Balsamic Strawberries
These cupcakes are light and moist, and the cream cheese frosting makes them just plain yummy. The recipe is adapted from Barefoot Contessa Parties! by Ina Garten. We’re serving these at a Superbowl party, so we colored the frosting appropriately for our favorite team, the Green Bay Packers.
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 extra large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinammon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 pound carrots, grated
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped pecans
For the Frosting
3/4 pound cream cheese, softened
1/2 pound unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound confectioners’ sugar
Preheat the oven to 400°F [...]
Continue reading Carrot Cupcakes